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Johnny


When Johnny was seven years old, he watched a family friend build a shed out of reclaimed wood. He was sent for a shilling of nails and earned a tanner for his efforts. From that point on he knew he wanted to work with his hands. Soon he was earning fifty pence a week mixing cement in a galvanised pail for a local handyman and spent his first wage on an action man. That was the start of Johnny’s working career and he’s been grafting ever since, as a joiner, mechanic and tree surgeon. At the ReUse Hub, his handiwork is everywhere: the makers cubicles, the benches and the shelving, all reclaimed wood salvaged from skips and building sites. ‘I hate chucking anything out,’ he says. Nothing goes to waste under Johnny’s watch. The volunteers bring him Minions to decorate his workshop, a playful jest about the bib and braces he often wears, but really he’s more like Uncle Bulgaria, the wisest of the Wombles from the 1970s series about the cuddly creatures that collected litter on Wimbledon Common - making good use of the things that we find - and nurturing the wayward youngsters under his care.


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